Massimo Luciani

Skeleton of the Thescelosaurus neglectus nicknamed Willo (Photo J. Spencer)

An article published in the journal “Scientific Reports” offers new information on the sensory capabilities of the Thescelosaurus neglectus, a small dinosaur that lived just before the great extinction that wiped out non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Paleontologists David Button and Lindsay Zanno submitted a Thescelosaurus skull to a CT scan to reconstruct its interior to create a 3D representation of its brain and inner ear. The conclusion is that this species had some very developed senses, useful for living in burrows.

The Machine's Child by Kage Baker

The novel “The Machine’s Child” by Kage Baker was published for the first time in 2006. It’s part of the cycle of the Company.

Alec Checkerfield is determined to free Mendoza from the prison she was locked in by Dr. Zeus Incorporated when she became an inconvenient operative. His clones Nicholas Harpole and Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, whose personalities were incorporated into Alec’s cyborg body, agree but the three of them are as different as possible and this makes it difficult to agree on everything else.

Joseph is watching over the regeneration of Budu, who is like a father to him, after literally recovering his pieces. It’s a long and complex process, which leaves him a lot of time for other tasks. Joseph also wants to save Mendoza, who is like a daughter to him, but he also wants to save her from Alec.

Eden by Stanislaw Lem

The novel “Eden” (“Eden”) by Stanislaw Lem was published for the first time in 1959. It was translated to English by Marc E. Heine.

Due to an error, a spaceship ends up in the atmosphere of a planet and crashes on its surface. The on-board robots are rendered useless by the consequences of the impact but the six human crew members are in good shape and the atmosphere is breathable. There remains the problem of repairing the spaceship, which sunk into the ground.

The crew searches for sentient natives and finds what appears to be an automated factory but none of the humans can figure out what the objects being produced are for. When they return to the spaceship, they find that a native has entered it. This and subsequent contacts only serve to increase their confusion regarding the planet’s civilization.

Homo sapiens and Neanderthal skulls

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” reports the results of a genetic analysis that reconstructs the interbreeding between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals that occurred during the migrations of populations of these two species. A team of researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, analyzed the DNA of over 4,000 Homo sapiens who lived in Eurasia over the last 40,000 years. The results show variations in the presence of genes inherited from Neanderthals following various interbreedings in different populations and at different times.

Proxima Rising by Brandon Q. Morris

The novel “Proxima Rising” by Brandon Q. Morris was published for the first time in 2021. It’s the first book in the Proxima Trilogy. The English translation is by Frank Dietz.

Marchenko is an artificial intelligence created using the memories of a cosmonaut. His task is to guide a spaceship to Proxima b, a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. The mission is to find the civilization that sent a distress call or what remains of it if it was destroyed.

The interstellar spaceship led by Marchenko is very small for most of its journey and only when it’s approaching the Proxima Centauri system do the tiny on-board systems begin to build everything that will be necessary for the mission. It’s not just equipment but also two human beings who will have the task of exploring Proxima b together with a robot controlled by Marchenko.